The story begins in Peru where the bark of the cinchona tree was used by the indigenous peoples to treat various fevers and shivering. In the 17th century, a Jesuit brother, Agostino Salumbrino (1561-1642), an apothecary by training, noticed that the cinchona bark was effective for symptoms that were similar to that caused by malaria. He sent samples back to Europe and suggested it be tried for malaria which was rampant in the swamps around Rome. Several popes were thought to have died from malaria.
The quinine in the gin and tonic is fluorescent and glows in the black light found in many night clubs. Quinidine is the stereo isomer of quinine.
Posted by Sam Shimomura, PharmD, FASHP, CGP